Archives For Loan App. Misreps

Imran Awan, 38, Alexandria, Virginia, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from a false statement made on a home equity loan.

According to plea documents filed today, on December 12, 2016, while in the District of Columbia, Awan submitted an online application in the name of his wife, Hina Alvi, to a credit union for a home equity line of credit on a property that she owned in Alexandria, Virginia. Awan made a material misrepresentation in the application by stating that the property was his wife’s primary residence and not a rental property. In fact, she was renting the property to tenants at the time. Awan made the misrepresentation because the credit union had a policy of not extending home equity lines of credit on rental properties. On January 5, 2017, the credit union offered a home equity line of credit of $165,000. Then, between January 12 and January 18, 2017, the credit union transferred $165,000 into the account. Awan paid off the balance on January 18, 2017.

Awan and his wife were indicted on federal charges related to the loan in August 2017. Both had pled not guilty to the charges. Under the plea agreement with Awan, the government agreed to ask the Court to dismiss all charges against Alvi at the time that Awan is sentenced.

The charge carries a statutory maximum of 30 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of zero to six months of incarceration. The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan scheduled sentencing for Aug. 21, 2018.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Matthew R. Verderosa, Chief of the United States Capitol Police, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Jessica Arong O’Brien, 50, Chicago, Illinois was convicted after trial of fraudulently obtaining loans related to the purchase, maintenance and sale of properties on Chicago’s South Side by causing lenders to issue and refinance approximately $1.4 million in mortgage and commercial loans by making false representations and concealing material facts in documents submitted to the lenders.  O’Brien used the fraudulently obtained mortgage loan proceeds to purchase an investment property in the 600 block of West 46th Street, Chicago, Illinois.  She fraudulently refinanced the mortgage on the property, as well as on a second investment property in the 800 block of West 54th Street, Chicago, Illinois.  O’Brien then fraudulently obtained a commercial line of credit to maintain the properties, before selling them to a loan officer – co-defendant Maria Bartko and a straw buyer whom O’Brien knew would fraudulently obtain mortgage loans.

Evidence at trial revealed that O’Brien carried out the fraud scheme from 2004 to 2007.  At the time, O’Brien was employed as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Department of Revenue, while also owning a real estate company, O’Brien Realty LLC, and working part time as a loan officer for Amronbanc Mortgage Corp. in Lincolnwood, Illinois.  At the time, Bartko was employed at Amronbanc as a loan officer.

The jury convicted O’Brien on both counts against her, including one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution, and one count of bank fraud.  Each count is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.  U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin set sentencing for July 6, 2018.

Bartko, Chicago, Illinois pleaded guilty before trial to one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution.  Judge Durkin will schedule Bartko’s sentencing hearing at a later date.

The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Catherine Huber, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Central Region of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew F. Madden and Tyler C. Murray.

James Nassida, 49, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count of bank and wire fraud conspiracy before Senior United States District Judge Donetta Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Nassida owned operated a mortgage brokerage business called Century III Home Equity (Century III), which assisted borrowers in obtaining loans collateralized by real estate. At the time of the events at issue, which was between 2002 and 2008, Century III was one of the largest mortgage broker businesses in the Western District of Pennsylvania, and during the course of that timeframe brokered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loans using more than a dozen different lenders. Many of those loans, however, involved one or more aspects.

Some of the aspects of the fraud included the following:

  • Appraisals that fraudulently inflated the true value of the properties;
  • Settlement statements that falsely reflected that the borrowers made substantial payments associated with the purchases of real estate;
  • Settlement statements that failed to disclose secondary financing;
  • Settlement statements that failed to include cash payments charged by Century III and paid by the borrowers;
  • Settlement statements and closing documents that were backdated to reflect that the settlements had occurred on a date prior to the actual settlement date; and
  • Various loan documents, including loan approval forms, good faith estimates, and underwriting transmittal forms, that failed to disclose secondary financing and falsely represented the combined loan-to-value ratio.

The fraud also involved misrepresentations to some of the borrowers to induce them to enter into the transactions, including concealing the fees Century III received from lenders for the borrowers’ transactions and the impact of those fees on the borrowers’ interest rates; and concealing the nature of the mortgage products, including that some of the mortgage products could negatively amortize. Lastly, the fraud also involved James Nassida’s receipt of kickbacks from the settlement company that he failed to disclose to the borrowers and lenders, as required.

James Nassida submitted multiple fraudulent documents associated with loans in which he served as a loan officer. In addition, loan officers working under his direction regularly submitted false information to lenders and borrowers. Nassida also caused the submission of fake documents to the lender in connection with his purchase of a $300,000 vacation home near Seven Springs, including the following: (1) a settlement statement that overstated the sales price; (2) a loan application that falsely stated his income and assets; and (3) fake statements from an investment company that falsely verified that he had more than $600,000 in investment when he really had about $15,000. In the loan application, James Nassida reported that he earned approximately $980,000 in 2006, but he did not even file his tax returns in 2006, and his reported taxable income in 2004 and 2005 was not even close to that figure.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2018. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song.

Ross D. Pickard, 63, Naples, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit loan and credit application fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

According to the plea agreement, Pickard was a senior loan officer at JP Morgan Chase Bank. He conspired with others in a scheme to defraud the bank by completing, certifying, and submitting mortgage loan applications on behalf of borrowers that contained false and fraudulent statements. The false statements included overinflated income and assets, understated liabilities, and false occupancy. By relying on Pickard’s false and fraudulent statements on the loan applications, JP Morgan Chase funded mortgage loans for otherwise unqualified borrowers.

The approximate loss suffered by JP Morgan Chase Bank associated with Pickard’s criminal conduct exceeds $33 million.

The announcement was made by Stephen Muldrow, the acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.  The case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.

Stephen T. Angerman, 48, Elgin, Illinois, pled guilty to bank fraud, money laundering, and testifying falsely in a bankruptcy case.

According to the written plea agreement, from December 2009 through March 31, 2010, Angerman schemed to fraudulently obtain a $510,000 loan from Alliant Credit Union and a $64,590 loan from Prairie Community Bank in order to purchase a home on Wrenwood Circle in Elgin.  Angerman admitted to making false statements on his loan application to Alliant about his employment, assets, and liabilities.  Further, Angerman admitted to submitting fictitious bank account statements, pay stubs, and a W-2 earnings form, and a fraudulent Certificate of Gift form to the credit union in support of his application.  Alliant issued the loan based upon Angerman’s representations.

Angerman admitted that in December 2009 and January 2010, he applied for and obtained a $64,590 loan from Prairie Community Bank by pledging a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette as collateral without disclosing that the Corvette was subject to a prior lien of approximately $40,000 held by another bank.

With regard to the money laundering charge, Angerman admitted that on March 23, 2010, he transferred most of the proceeds, $64,500, from his checking account at Allied Credit Union to an account in the name of a relative at a different bank in an attempt to conceal his bank fraud against Prairie Community Bank.

On January 3, 2011, Angerman filed for bankruptcy in Rockford, Illinois.  Angerman admitted that on February 7, 2011, he falsely testified under oath at a meeting of creditors by stating he did not own any real estate other than what he had listed in his bankruptcy schedules, and that he did not own a car, when in fact he owned the home on Wrenwood Circle in Elgin and the Corvette.

Angerman faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment for bank fraud, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 5 years.  For money laundering, Angerman faces a sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, and a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years.  Angerman also is subject to a civil penalty of twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.  For falsely testifying in his bankruptcy case, Angerman faces up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release of up to 3 years.  The judge must also order Angerman to pay restitution.  Sentencing is set for October 3, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.

The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation; and James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.

David B. Pick, loan originator, 47, Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to making false statements arising from a real estate closing.

Pick was a loan originator responsible for preparing loan applications, obtaining documentation to support the representations in loan applications, presenting loan applications to financial institutions for funding and working with financial institutions to close loans.

In 2005, Pick sought a $900,000 construction loan from a mortgage lender to purchase and construct a residence at 1206 Tilghmans Landing Way, Annapolis, Maryland.  The residence was to be constructed by Richland Homes, Inc., owned and operated by Timothy Ritchie, 44, Annapolis, Maryland .  Continue Reading…

Valeri Kalyuzhnyy, 44, Citrus Heights, California, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

On June 25, 2015, Kalyuzhnyy pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a loan application. According to court documents, Kalyuzhnyy, while working as a mortgage broker, bought two homes using the credit information of a straw buyer. The loan applications that were used to secure the properties contained numerous false statements regarding the buyer’s intent to occupy the property, employer, occupation, and monthly income. In order to support the inflated monthly income listed on the loan application, fraudulent tax returns were submitted. On July 17, 2007, Kalyuzhnyy gave the straw buyer a check for $29,000.

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Kalyuzhnyy. The case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan prosecuted the case.

Erik Hermann Green, 33, Roseville, California was found guilty by a federal jury after a six- day trial of five counts of wire fraud in a mortgage fraud scheme involving fraudulent loan applications.

According to evidence presented at trial, Green was part of a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme to defraud the New Century Mortgage Company by submitting false documentation about employment, income and assets, including fraudulent loan applications and other altered bank documents. Around November of 2006, when Green submitted his fraudulent loan applications to obtain a loan for $820,000, he was a licensed real estate sales person and managed approximately 15 loan officers. As part of the scheme, Green received a check for $100,000 that was funneled through a shell company at the close of escrow. Green used the funds for personal expenses. Continue Reading…

Brenda Ann Blair, 37, loan officer, Bonita Springs, Florida, formerly of Goochland County, Virginia, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for participating in a fraud scheme that obtained approximately $2.4 million worth of mortgage backed loans from federally backed financial institutions. Continue Reading…

Hector Hernandez, real estate developer and owner of a mortgage company, 57, Miami, Florida; Aleida Fontao, co-owner of a mortgage company, 62, Miami, Florida; and Olga Hernandez, senior mortgage underwriter, 58, Lake Mary, Florida, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution in connection with an FHA mortgage fraud scheme involving federally insured mortgages that caused losses of $64 million to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  Including these defendants, 25 individuals have pleaded guilty to offenses related to this scheme to date..  Hector and Olga Hernandez both pleaded guilty on July 13, 2015, while Fontao pleaded guilty on July 7, 2015.  As part of his plea, Hector Hernandez also agreed to forfeit $8 million, which amounts to his profits from the scheme.

Hector Hernandez’s mortgage company, Great Country Mortgage Bankers, specialized in mortgage loans that were insured by the FHA. Continue Reading…